When to visit the eye doctor is an important decision to make sure your vision stays healthy. It’s generally considered a good idea to visit regularly, ideally one exam a year when you’re an adult, though you could end up going more often depending on the state of your eyes or age.
In fact, there are a number of reasons why you might end up visiting more often, and if any of the suggested reasons below pertain to you it would be a good idea to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
You Have An Eye Infection
Eye infections happen when a virus or bacteria is able to enter your eye. Most eye infections will go away on their own and not do permanent damage as long as you’re careful. However, if your infection is accompanied by a fever, excessive discharge of mucus, or you’re experiencing pain, you should see an eye doctor immediately.
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They can prescribe antibodies for you to take, and if you get eye infections often, they can prescribe topical ointments as well. Leaving serious eye infections to heal on their own can lead to a risk of vision loss. Thus, it’s better to contact an eye doctor if you have an eye infection.
It Has Been A Long Time Since You Had A Visit
If you cannot remember the last time you visited an eye care center, then it is a good idea to make an appointment as soon as possible. Regular eye exams, done about once a year, are one of the keys to catching problems before they have a chance to get serious. If you have glaucoma, diabetes, or age-related macular degeneration, then you will need to get eye exams done more often. In fact, the older you get, the more often you should see an eye doctor.
You Have Eye Pain
It is normal to have eye pain every now and then, especially if you’ve contracted an eye infection or managed to hurt your eye somehow. You may have been staring at a screen for too long, or excessively rubbing them. Chlorinated pools can make your eyes hurt if you open them underwater, or if you get something stuck in your eye (like an eyelash).
Someone might have even poked you in the eye recently. However, it’s another thing entirely if you have long-lasting, severe eye pain. Then it’s time you call your eye doctor. Eye pain is often a sign of an infection. It may also be a sign of eye disease.
You’ve Suffer an Eye Injury
This one should be the most obvious, but it can still be said. When you seek emergency medical assistance, the staff in the ER will consult the people best equipped to determine how badly you may have injured your eye. Afterwards, it’s best to check up with your doctor as you heal, as they’ll be able to monitor your progress best.
Even if the injury wasn’t emergency room worthy, you should still go see your eye doctor after suffering any sort of injury to your eye, no matter how minor. Sometimes injuries you thought were no big deal could turn out to be more damaging than you realized. Visiting an eye doctor as soon as possible is the best way to cover all your bases and make sure something you think is minor actually is.
Your Vision Is Changing
If you have noticed that it is getting harder for you to see things, such as the world growing fuzzier around you, then your vision has probably deteriorated. Fortunately, vision problems are something that can be easy for you to correct. Most likely, you’re probably just going to need glasses or contacts, or a stronger prescription if you already have them.
It is important to note that if vision problems are not corrected as soon as possible, then they can cause many problems. For example, you may find yourself straining your eyes in an effort to see, which can cause headaches. Whether it’s from headaches or a lack of being able to see clearly, it will be hard for you to read anything or get any work done. Additionally, driving can be dangerous since you can’t clearly see everything around you on the road.
Maintaining a consistent relationship with your eye doctor is important for maintaining your vision. Not just when you know or suspect something might be wrong, though when that happens it is even more important that you find the time to make an appointment. Neglecting your eyes, just like any other part of your body, will only lead to the problem worsening with time.
Thus, if you can’t remember the last time you sat in the examination chair with the phoropter pressed to your face, or if you think something might be wrong with the state of your eyes, you should look into scheduling an appointment as soon as possible.